It's not earth-shattering news, but it's certainly noteworthy that Canlis has changed its menu after howevermany years. The change is subtle. If you are not a regular, you may not even notice a difference. In fact, nobody really noticed the change when it was rolled out Tuesday night.
"There's a single price for what you order," says Mark Canlis. "So, three courses is $84 and four courses is $98. And the tasting menu is still the tasting menu, and the vegetarian menu is still the vegetarian menu. By and large, most of our guests have always ordered three courses anyway. I literally think of it as a change in price."
Mark says he and his brother Brian wanted to take the math out of the dining equation: "People were terrified Canlis was going to be the most expensive thing in their life." Adds Brian, "It is expensive, but what the new format and pricing allows us to do is give you other surprises throughout the night."
Surprises like table-side salad service (resurrected after a 12-year absence), complimentary valet for dining room guests, hors d'oeuvres service, bread service that's fired to-order, handmade treats with your coffee, and a take-away gift at the end of the night.
Here's the menu. Nothing crazy, right? Just a simple change in format and pricing that allows the brothers to show off Canlis a little bit more.
One of the frustrating things to us was that if someone came in and ordered the tasting menu, we knew how long they'd probably be at the table, we had a dollar amount we could work with. But there were a lot of people who just wanted to come in and have a really simple meal and we weren't able to have as much fun with them and to lavish on them and take care of them the way we wanted to. The new menu allows us to do that. It gives us way more freedom to live up to what our customers hope for when they come to Canlis.
It is a little bit scary what we're doing, because we're literally at the very top of our game, and so why would we take something working so well and change it? The answer is that we've been doing it all along, it's just that it's more noticeable now.
The bar menu is untouched, which means you can still come to Canlis just to order truffle fries and a drink and listen to live piano music in the lounge. No shame in that, for sure.